Benson Police Chief: 27 Searches Conducted For Missing Man

Benson Police announced Tuesday afternoon they have now spent over 1,500 man hours searching for a missing Florida man.  In a news release, Police Chief Kenneth Edwards said the search for 22 year-old Christopher “Cole” Thomas is still an active investigation.

Thomas was reported missing on November 25th by two friends he was riding with on I-40 when they suddenly detoured to take a stop in Benson.  He has not been seen again.

Chief Edwards said the Benson Police Department has been assisted by the NC SBI, Johnston County District Attorney’s Office, as well as other local and state agencies.

The persons who were with Cole have been interviewed by law enforcement on multiple occasions “using various methods and equipment.”

Edward said forensic testing as well as more technical investigative methods have been and will continue to be utilized in the investigation.  A total of 27 searches have been conducted in and around Benson including trained dogs and handlers from the SBI, searched by air with the aid of the SBI and NC Highway Patrol.

Police have received tips from multiple counties in North Carolina as well as several other states.  Law enforcement agencies have been contacted in those locations and have assisted in tracking down all the leads without any success.

Nearly seven weeks later, Chief Edwards said law enforcement officers are still committed to finding Cole and the investigation remains active. “We will continue to conduct interviews, initiate searches, and follow all leads, until he is reunited with his family.”

A candlelight vigil will be held tonight (Tuesday) from 6 until 8pm at the Benson Singing Grove on Main Street by family, friends, and volunteers. The vigil is open to the public.

If you have any information about the disappearance of Christopher Cole Thomas contact the Benson Police Department at 919-894-2091. A reward is being offered in the case.